Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yahoo! Japan Majimori Corn Snack Brown Oil Pork & Garlic

Yahoo is regarded as second to Google when it comes to home pages and search engines among most folks in the West. In Japan, Yahoo is the bee's knees to Google's bee's, uh, little toes. This is why Yahoo gets its own brand of corn snack. Well, not exactly its own. This is a collaborative effort between Maruchan, maker of cup-a-ramen type products, Yahoo Japan, Frito-Lay, and Tokyo Web 1 Week (a magazine). They all came together to create some sort of promotion which would draw attention to all of them.

These were released on February 16 and I picked mine up at a convenience store for 99 yen ($1.06). The bag contains 55 grams (about 2 oz.) of corn snacks which will set you back 295 calories if you snarf it all down. The web site talks about how these are meant to resemble ramen flavored with "thick brown oil", pork bone, ginger, and garlic. There is another ramen flavored corn snack which has been released at the same time as this one, but it wasn't on sale locally. The other one is spicy miso and tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet).

When I opened the bag and gave it a sniff, I really couldn't identify the scent. It's such a melange of flavors that it defies easy identification. It doesn't smell particularly bad, nor particularly good. When I first started eating them, I had a strong sense of a lot of foreplay with no finish. There seemed to be an immense and complex hit of flavor with only a bit of an oily follow-up. As I ate more and more of them, the savory flavors separated out into pork, green onion, ginger, and garlic. Cumulatively, the garlic seems to become more and more present as the flavor builds up, but that pork bone flavor is strongly there as well.

When I first started eating these, I wasn't very impressed, by about the 10th puff, I was hooked. They are so savory and complex in flavor and get better and better as time goes by. From a flavor viewpoint, this is good. From the viewpoint of eating more of something which really isn't good for you, it's rather bad. Still, this is a limited edition product which I'm sure won't be around forever and worth a one time indulgence. I'd definitely recommend trying them.